Gunmen seize Yemen president's chief of staff
Yemen has been dogged by instability since Saleh's ouster, with the Houthis and al-Qaeda seeking to fill the power vacuum
Gunmen on Saturday seized Yemeni President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi's chief of staff, whose nomination as prime minister last year was rejected by Shiite militiamen controlling the capital, an official said.
"An armed group set up a checkpoint in Hada," a southern district of Sanaa, and "captured (Ahmed Awad bin) Mubarak with his companions," an official from the national dialogue secretariat told AFP.
Mubarak is secretary general of the national dialogue on a political transition following the 2012 resignation of veteran president Ali Abdullah Saleh after a bloody year-long uprising.
The senior politician was "driven away to an unknown location," the official said, adding that the abductors "are suspected of being (Shiite) Houthi militiamen".
Yemen has been dogged by instability since Saleh's ouster, with the Houthis and al-Qaeda seeking to fill the power vacuum.
Mubarak, a southerner, was one of the representatives in the dialogue of the Southern Movement, which seeks autonomy or secession for the formerly independent south.
Hadi appointed him as prime minister in October, but Mubarak turned down the job following strong opposition by Huthi fighters who overran Sanaa on September 21, and by Saleh's General People's Congress Party.
The Houthis are widely believed to be backed by Saleh.
The U.N. Security Council in November slapped sanctions -- including a visa ban and asset freeze -- on Saleh and two rebel commanders for threatening peace.
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